!i (NotI)

Sometimes all it takes is a small tweak to an existing game to make it seem completely new again. While we’ve all played variations around the “tank shoots other tanks” theme, the tank-shooting genre hasn’t really changed that much over the past couple of decades.

!i (“Not I”) only makes one tweak to this formula. Black tanks sit on a black landscape against a white background and fire their bullets at other tanks. Except the other tanks are white tanks, sitting on a white landscape against a black background. The black tank’s bullets increase the white landscape, completely obscuring (and destroying) the white tanks in the process. The white tank’s bullets increase the black landscape, doing the same for the black tanks.

It’s a bit of a mind-bender to wrap your head around in text. Fortunately it’s a small download and makes a lot more sense once you actually play the game. You can flip the screen to see either the white or the black landscape right-side up, and the interface text works in both directions, though it’s a little funky and hard to read sometimes.

The one small tweak to the gameplay completely changes the strategy from most tank-shooters. Shooting straight down sometimes makes a lot of sense. You can’t hurt friendly tanks with your bullets; all it does is move the ground under their feet a bit. Most importantly, strategizing while thinking upside down proves more difficult than it sounds, at least to me.

Why You Should Check This Out: !i is a twist on the stalwart tank-shooting genre. The game completely changes the formula with one little change in mechanics. It definitely stretches the mind to contemplate the upside-down combat. !i is a game that can take a simple mechanic and change your perspective on a simple, well-tread genre.

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Comments

Exception Access Violation.

Won't run in Win7 64-bit for me.

Stele wrote:

Exception Access Violation.

Won't run in Win7 64-bit for me. :(

Ran perfectly fine in my Win 7 64-bit. Odd.

Time to do all the "run as administrator" and compatibility mode stuff.

I'm looking forward to getting home to check this out. It makes my brain hurt thinking about it, so I want to get my hands on it to really understand it.

This was interesting, but I found the controls to be awkward and would have liked to have seen the ideas a bit more fleshed-out. For those of you just starting out: the arrows at the top of the screen are for moving your current tank; to actually change the angle and power of your shot, click and drag the large dot sticking out of their heads.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

This was interesting, but I found the controls to be awkward and would have liked to have seen the ideas a bit more fleshed-out. For those of you just starting out: the arrows at the top of the screen are for moving your current tank; to actually change the angle and power of your shot, click and drag the large dot sticking out of their heads.

Unless you're playing black...then the controls are at the bottom.

I think it's an interesting concept. There were a few glitches I saw with the mac version, including one tank that, every time it had a turn, spun its turret around wildly for about ten seconds before firing a random shot into the ether. I'd also like to see a more even strength curve, preferably with numbers for reference. In my game at least, a tank that was 2/3 of the way down the screen would hit the ceiling with any power from about 50% to a full extension.

But, again, very interesting concept. Pretty brain-bending at first.

Minarchist wrote:

Unless you're playing black...then the controls are at the bottom. :-)

I found that I had an easier time with it if I rotated the board so that I was "up."

Interesting little game. Wish there was a bit more to it to keep me coming back. Weapons, something.

garion333 wrote:

Interesting little game. Wish there was a bit more to it to keep me coming back. Weapons, something.

Editable TALK1.CFG/TALK2.CFG files? I shall oil my turret with your blood!

It ran fine for me in Windows 7 64-bit, with all AMD/ATI hardware. My problem was that I could not figure out how to aim. After less than a minute, I got annoyed and deleted it.

burntham77 wrote:

It ran fine for me in Windows 7 64-bit, with all AMD/ATI hardware.

Lucky you, that's what I have as well.

I even posted in the feedback forum for the game and the creator put up a debug version of the game to give me a better error message. But it just did the same thing.

Still, nice of him to try to support and bug fix, for a free game. Hope other people that can play it will at least check it out.

It's kind of fun, great concept, and would probably be pretty cool two player, but the AI in this game is awful. Sometimes it manages a really difficult shot with computer-y mathematical ease, and other times it launches randomly at the ceiling or shoots meaninglessly at its own floor. If the AI could be tweaked, I'd be really happy with this little game.

Interesting little game. Wish there was a bit more to it to keep me coming back. Weapons, something.

Word. Not weapons, though. Level variety or puzzle modes, for my taste.